Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Another dinner recipe, folks! Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

I hope you all aren't sick of me and all my recipes lately. I've been on a cooking kick and while I have been crafting -mostly working on Christmas ornaments this week-, the ornaments are all still works in progress and dinner is something I can show a tangible result from every night. So as I come up with new food stuffs to try, I like to share them with you!

This week at my local Stop and Shop they are having a sale on red bell peppers: 10 lbs for $10. Red peppers are a staple in my house and I jumped at the chance to buy a bunch as I normally buy one large one and try to eek at least two dinners out of it. So because I now had 5 giant peppers left from my massive purchase on Saturday, I decided I'd give stuffed peppers a try. Now let me preface this by saying I HATE traditional stuffed peppers. I grew up with soggy green peppers jammed with bland white rice, tomato sauce and ground hamburg. Bleck! (Sorry if I offend anyone.) So as a wife and mom, I've never once made this meal for my family.

I figured there had to be a way to make these dern things taste better so I set to work coming up with a plan- the result are below.

There are quite a few ingredients and steps to these but they were so flavorful and I think if you've got a little bit of time to play around in the kitchen, they're well worth the effort! None of the steps are hard and the ingredients are all easily found at any grocery store.

5 large red bell peppers, 1/2'd lengthwise and seeded
1 lb sweet Italian sausage (not in casings)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp Tuscan sea salt*
1/2 tsp beef base or boullion granules
1 1/2 cups "cheesy rice" (recipe to follow below)
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup shredded Italian cheese mix
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 roasted red pepper (from a jar), diced
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 tbsp (approx 5-6 leaves) fresh basil, chopped
1 cup diced tomato, drained
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 1/4 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add yellow onion and garlic, cook until onion becomes translucent. Add sausage and cook until browned. Drain on papertowels and set aside.

In a mixing bowl combine feta, shredded cheese, sour cream, parmesan, roasted red pepper, basil and Italian seasoning.

In a larger mixing bowl combine cheesy rice, diced tomato and green onion. Then add the feta/sour cream mixture to the rice and finally, add the sausage mixture and fold mix until combined well.

Arrange pepper halves in a casserole dish and fill with stuffing mixture. Add vegetable stock to the bottom of the casserole dish and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove foil, spoon stock over the tops of each pepper and cook an additional 15 minutes uncovered. Finish off by turning on the broiler for 2 minutes to put a nice brown on everything.

Served with tossed salad and homemade croutons (very easy, recipe for that another day, lol!)

Special thanks to Maggie for introducing me to what my kids have dubbed "cheesy rice" Original Recipe. And thank you to my dear Lexi for my beautiful gift of Tuscan Sea Salts!

*Tuscan sea salt is a blend of large granule sea salt and traditional Tuscan herbs such as rosemary, sage and oregano. If you can't find this at your local market, substitute with 1 tsp plain sea salt combined with 1/4 tsp dried Italian seasoning

Cheesy Rice Recipe:

2 tbsp butter
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 1/3 cups white rice (not instant)
4 cups vegetable stock
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup paremesan cheese

Melt butter over medium heat, add the onions and cook until translucent, add rice and brown for 3-4 minutes. Stir in vegetable stock and black pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, leave covered and let stand for 5 minutes. Finally, add parmesan cheese and stir well to combine.

Like I said, there are a lot of steps to this- but it went pretty quick for me; I had exactly a cup and 1/2 of the cheesy rice in my fridge from dinner two nights ago and the can of diced tomatoes were opened last night for my crock pot enchiladas, so I was able to use up some fridge leftovers. You can certainly substitute other types of stock, onions, cheeses etc throughout this recipe to accomodate your family's tastes and what you have in your fridge/cupboards to keep the cost down. This only cost me $10 to make because I keep many of the ingredients on hand in my pantry.

1 comment:

Lexi said...

Those look so good! i might just have to try that recipe!